I had never before bought an artichoke. I had no idea what to do with it, but I wanted to give it a try because I know its health benefits, including the timely one of helping to support a spring cleanse.
Why do a detox cleanse?
You may have read that the last 60 or so years have brought another approximately 70,000 new chemicals, with only a fraction having been tested. Some of these chemicals have been tied to asthma, allergies, headaches, nausea, pain, mental confusion, sleep problems, and even cancer. It’s hard to avoid all chemicals, as they are found in plastics, electronics, carpets, furniture, food, water, and even your some clothing materials. Your body is designed to remove harmful chemicals, but with the overload that our current environment and lifestyles bring, a regular detox cleanse is an important part of your health routine, and spring is an ideal time to do it.
The awesome artichoke
Of course there are many aspects to a cleanse, but including foods supportive to the detox function, is a great foundation. Artichokes are high in fibre, helping to scrub the intestinal walls and absorb toxins. They also carry the antioxidant flavonoid silymarin–the same component found in milk thistle–a key ingredient for supporting liver health by stimulating cell regeneration.
If you eat the artichoke leaves (remember that the it’s the inner ones you want as the outer ones are too tough), your liver will be better able to break down fatty foods as the cynarin found mostly in the leaves stimulate the liver to produce more bile. It may even help to lower your cholesterol too.
A bonus benefit of eating artichokes is that it may help you get more satisfaction out of your food without having to add more sweetener. An old study that was later confirmed by research at Yale University found that two thirds of their subjects found even a glass of water to taste sweet after eating an artichoke.
Is there a delicious recipe for artichokes?
Of course there are delicious recipes! I tried a healthy homemade (no cheese) pizza. Make your own, and in addition to artichoke, consider adding these other detoxification support foods:
- Brussels sprouts